When Headbangerwoman spoke with King Belvedere frontman/singer Jeff McKenney and his rhythm keeping band mate Johnny Sexx; drummer, tea drinker and whipped cream connoisseur, it was obvious from the word go that what ensued would be less than boring.
To start with, it is a rarity in this the business of music, that the topics of our conversation are able to poke fun at themselves and each other when necessary and see it for what it is; a show, a performance. Nothing more nothing less. Conversation with McKenney and Sexx was good, plentiful and varied. However, it was cut short by McKinney’s need to visit the local Pubbery in order that he could ingest cold pre-piss colored liquids and stimulate his bowel with beef jerky!
Sexx confirmed that he was staying home to consume tea! How very rock n roll.
Having previously played shows with the likes of LA Guns, Bang Tango and Faster Pussycat, it is hardly a surprise that King Belvedere have a definite 80’s cock rock sound. With a first record that had an edgier, more punk feel, the sound has since been honed and tweaked, by the second release; My Kinda Rock and Roll, it had become a perfect mix of sleaze, punk and raw rock. If the noise is not convincing, then you only need to take a look at them. They certainly look the part. Class 101 in hair teasing and sock shoving has been taken….it was passed with flying colors.
That however, does not make them sound or look out dated. Not in the least. They look fresh and they have the most certain ability to dampen panties with the best of them.
Proven to be attention grabbing and well worth at least 40 minutes of any ones ear time, an affiliation with John Guarnieri, President of Fallen Blue, a charity organization for first responders, was formed after Guarnieri contacted Shockwave Magazine for contact details for the band. McKenney tells “after liking what he saw and heard, John quite urgently wanted to get in touch with us.” Were his panties damp? That information remains unspoken. Guarnieri became the Manager for King Belvedere shortly after contact between the two parties in early 2012.
Known for playing shows for charitable organizations, Livestrong to name just one, both Sexx and McKenney admit to “becoming emotional when they are asked to do charity work.” Sexx puts it like this; “there are literally thousands of other bands out there and people ask us. It is certainly humbling.” McKenney added. “It is fun to be able to give back.” He is well qualified to discuss charity on the highest level. He shared “I will always be a big supporter of the Red Cross. They were there for me after a house fire destroyed everything I owned. It was a very bad time and it definitely makes you re-evaluate what is important. Giving back is the least I can do.”
According to McKenney, his vocal career started when he would lip sync as a child with a tennis racket in front of a mirror in his bedroom. Not using a hairbrush obviously gave him an edge. If Sexx was doing similar to improve his percussive skills, one can only imagine the mess in the family kitchen after he finished beating every pot and pan available!
However, from these meager beginnings comes progression. A press release that King Belvedere signed to Jam.Sync.Music was released on May 10th 2012.It is almost a given that meet and greet will continue be a huge part of what the band were, are and will become. Sexx will insist upon it. A big believer in keeping it real and involving the people that are essentially paying you to do what you do. Of course Sexx was bred into musicianship (Mom and Dad both musicians) and is a big music fan himself, so he just gets it.
We can expect to see a lot more of these self-confessed “Big clowns on a stage”. A third record is soon to be released following My Kinda Rock and Roll and will be, according to McKenney “full of melodies that make it work.”
Let’s just hope that Elvis is rocking n rolling in his hotel room in the sky!
Bring it boys….
By Karen Graham
King Belvedere’s Links: